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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 497841, 13 pages
Review Article

Animal Models of Cardiovascular Diseases

1Department of Epidemiology, Atherothrombosis and Cardiovascular Imaging, Fundacion Centro Nacional Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Sinesio Delgado 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain
2Renal and Vascular Research Laboratory, IIS-Fundacion Jimenez Diaz, Universidad Autonoma, Avda Reyes Catolicos 2, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 11 October 2010; Revised 4 January 2011; Accepted 17 January 2011

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2011 Carlos Zaragoza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiovascular diseases are the first leading cause of death and morbidity in developed countries. The use of animal models have contributed to increase our knowledge, providing new approaches focused to improve the diagnostic and the treatment of these pathologies. Several models have been developed to address cardiovascular complications, including atherothrombotic and cardiac diseases, and the same pathology have been successfully recreated in different species, including small and big animal models of disease. However, genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in cardiovascular pathophysiology, making difficult to match a particular disease, with a single experimental model. Therefore, no exclusive method perfectly recreates the human complication, and depending on the model, additional considerations of cost, infrastructure, and the requirement for specialized personnel, should also have in mind. Considering all these facts, and depending on the budgets available, models should be selected that best reproduce the disease being investigated. Here we will describe models of atherothrombotic diseases, including expanding and occlusive animal models, as well as models of heart failure. Given the wide range of models available, today it is possible to devise the best strategy, which may help us to find more efficient and reliable solutions against human cardiovascular diseases.